DM/BW-078 – Römerstein – 872m (4)

September 30th, 2020, 9:00 – 11:00 utc
My fourth activation of Römerstein.

Wx: Cloudy, temp about 14°C.
Walking time: 10 min up, 5 min down.
Ascent/ descent: approx. 60 vertical metres

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.5Ah Li-Ion battery (4S), Palm Mini Paddle
Ant: 22 m end fed wire with QRP L- Tuner set up as inverted L on a 6 metre squid pole.

Condx on all bands were poor with deep QSB and weak signals.
SFI = 73, k = 3

18 QSOs on 60 CW, 2 x S2S
13 QSOs on 40 CW, 3 x S2S
10 QSOs on 40 SSB, 3 x S2S
3 QSOs on 30 CW, 1 x S2S
2 QSOs on 20 CW, 1 x S2S

Highlights:
Nice activation and a surprising number of S2S QSOs for a weekday.

Lowlight: The KX3 was almost destroyed because of excessive battery voltage.

How to get there?

On the road from Böhringen to Donnstetten, turn left at the junction towards Göppingen. After a few hundred metres the car park „Römerstein-Turm“ appears on the right. From there the ascent is fairly short.

Activation report

I had a day off and wanted to use the time for a quick activation. The choice fell on Römerstein because it isn’t too far away and I hadn’t activated it this year yet. For a change, I tried the ascent from the West.

On a morning during the week the place was – as expected – deserted. I used my standard equipment for low mountains and set up on a bench. Everything went smoothly until I switched on the KX3 and saw a message on the dispaly, saying something like: ‚above 15 V‘. The words took a second to sink in, then I hit the buttons and switched the KX3 off immediately. For some reason I had forgotten to connect the voltage reducer between KX3 and the 4S battery. I knew it had to happen one day! The KX3 supply voltage was approx. 16.3 volts.

When my blood pressure returned to normal, I plugged in the voltage reducer and turned the KX3 back on. Fortunately, there was no damage whatsoever. Thanks, Elecraft for the rugged design!

The following activation went smoothly with a focus on chasing S2S contacts. From time to time the sun came out. Then – within minutes – it became comfortably warm.

Conclusion:

By mistake, I connected the 4S Li-Ion battery directly to the KX3. This mistake was possible because all my DC connectors are of the same type. In the long run I have to change the 4S battery connector to a different type.

Again it was lots of fun. Thanks for the QSOs!

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